Showing posts with label beverages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beverages. Show all posts

Monday, January 10, 2011

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Dear Aunt Sally, 

Do you have a recipe for Homemade Hot Chocolate?

Ben in North Carolina

Dear Ben,

But of course!   First, we need some definitions.  Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder and is less rich. Hot chocolate is made with melted chocolate and is the sweetest, smoothest thing this side of heaven. For you, my dear friend, I will give you only the very best -- Hot Chocolate!

Hot chocolate is based on ganache. Ganache is nothing more than hot cream poured over chocolate, then stirred to blend. This simple mixture can be turned into frosting, glaze, pastry filling or chocolate truffles. You know that creamy center in boxed chocolates? That's ganache. 

To make hot chocolate, take two ounces ganache (or to taste) and place in a mug. Heat one cup milk over medium heat, being careful not to scorch. Pour hot milk over ganache, stir and enjoy.

Not in the mood to make ganache? No problem! Just pop over to the store and pick up chocolate truffles. This time of year, they can be found on sale just about anywhere, including drug stores and groceries. Take about two ounces of truffles (or to taste) and chop coarsely. Then, pour hot milk over, stir and enjoy.

To make a larger batch, heat milk on stove and add truffles to the milk in the pan. Increase amounts accordingly. 


Aunt Sally

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cranberry-Chai Tea - Perfect for Holiday Gatherings!

Miss Sally-Page darlin', 

I need a nice hot Christmas tea recipe to be served at a brunch. Ya got one, girl? We used to do a cider/tang thingie in NC. I might do that.......... Mulling (no pun intended) it all over in my little brain. 


Dear Pam,

How spicy do you like it? Let me be clear; I'm talking about TEA. Oops. I beg your pardon. That's none of my business.

Your wish is my command. Just for lil ol' you, an easy to make, easy to double recipe.  You can make this in advance and simply reheat it.  I like to make a big pitcher of it to have on hand.  When friends pop by or winter winds chill my fingers, a quick zap in the microwave and  tea is served.

Cranberry-Chai Tea

4 cups water
1 tablespoon fennel seed
6 green cardamom pods
12 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
6 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger
2 (family-sized) tea bags
¼ cup brown sugar
4 cups cranberry juice cocktail

In a medium saucepan, add fennel seed, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, and peppercorns.  Heat on medium until spices are fragrant, but not burned, about three minutes.

Carefully add water and ginger root.  Add tea bags. Bring water up to 190º or until almost beginning to boil. Do not let it boil.  This should take 15 – 20 minutes.

Set pan off heat and let steep three minutes. Remove tea bags and strain out spices.

Stir in the brown sugar and cranberry juice cocktail. Reheat on medium temperature. Serve warm.  May also be served chilled.  (May be served warm or chilled with a shot of vodka or rum!)

May be made ahead, chilled and reheated. Candied ginger can be added to individual servings, if desired.

Makes ½ gallon.

Double Recipe:

8 cups water
2 tablespoons fennel seed
12 green cardamom pods
24 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
12 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
4 (family-sized) tea bags
½  cup brown sugar
1 (64 ounce) bottle cranberry juice cocktail

Makes one gallon.